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Dam Busting - Lone Survivor

Posted by Eagle_Flight , 19 July 2011 · 310 views

Okay, I've got clearence for a TOP SECRET mission..

Take-Off is now such a routine, that it's over before I even realize. I steady my grip on throttle and joystick, and mentally go through the briefing in my head..

Take off in Egypt... Fly South to a Dam strike in Sudan... Land back in Egypt...

While flying south from Waypoint 1 to 2, I noticed some bandits just past Waypoint 2. Improv time! I took a left at Wadi Halfa, and started flying East/South-East through a convenient valley in the mountain range.. I decided, since I was stealthy, I'd better make use of it!

Alrighty, so I speed along, hugging the terrain until I'm less than 30 miles from the strike-target. The bandits have now become aware of my presence and they greet me kindly with a few incoming missiles. No problem though, and quickly, the 4 bandits protecting the strike target are no more. However, all our AA is now gone!

Change to strike waypoint, and wingman #2 starts running in. I just notice him releasing his 4 bombs, but sadly the dam isn't taken out.. I'm not even sure if his bombs hit though.. I myself deploy two more bombs, after which I get the kill confirmation (Boom Oh Yeah!) Unfortunately, this means I cannot confirm which works: does it take 2 bombs OR 2+4 = 6 bombs to get the dam?

I fire the remaining two bombs for good measure and to make my plane lighter, and start on a direct course home, first gaining 25k feet altitude. Almost home, I remember the two bandits I was picking up earlier just past waypoint two, and I thought I'd make a short detour and get them cleaned up as well.

Me and my wingmen were fighting with guns only though, and for some reason, my wingman wasn't happy engaging with guns, so he just replied 'Negative' a few times, before basically just flying in circles and acting as bait. Here goes.. I start chasing down one bandit, suddenly the others on my tail and has fired.. - Going defensive, turning around on the bandit that just shot at me.. The next moment, my original target is on my six and had fired again - Same as before, going defensive, now switching targets back to original bandit.. He's much closer now, and I manage to hit him with cannons and set his engine on fire, but he still has maneuverability. None the less, I switch targets to the plane not yet damaged, he's hunting down my wingman, circling below me! Okay, I point the nose down, going full afterburner, I'm confident that I can take this guy out before he gets my wingman.

Suddenly, the smoking bandit pops up on my screen, between me, and my wingman's follower.. Any maneuver command of combat command I try to give to my wingman is refused......

I manage to line up the already damaged bandit, fire a volley, get a few hits. I immediately target the guy closing in on my wingman, and somewhere in the corner of my ear I hear the explosion from the damaged bandit... The situation however gives me no time to rest, as my wingman is in danger! "Why are you so stupid, and why don't you use that cannon you have to do something against those bandits?!?!?!", I scream to my wingman, he happily ignores the situation.. Maybe he likes dodging bullets? Maybe he's waiting for the bandits to run out of ammo, in order to humiliate the bandit - once he snaps back into his mind and does something about the life-threatening situation he's in!

Nope. Nothing. Nada. That's not the case. He's just flyin in a big circle.....

Now we've got a sandwich setup, my wingman is in the lead, the bandit happily firing away, taking shots at him, while I'm trying to gain ground so I can aim for the bandit and NOT take out my own wingman at the same time.

Then it all happened very fast.. #2 let's me know, that he's hit. WELL DUH! The wingman maneuvers away from the bandit, I have clear sights - I fire, and manage to get a few shots off... Bandit is still firing, suddenly breaks left.. I follow, now very close, I take the final shots, and they light up the bandit in a fireball... Since I'm flying so close though, I don't have time to avoid the shrapnel, and I also get hit.

I check my right, no wingman around...
I call in formation, no wingman resonds...
I check the systems MFD, only a 'Lead' plane registered, nr 'Two' obviously didn't make it.

Just to make life a bit harder, I have a huge fuel leak to go along with the missing plane.
It was however a good idea to avoid these bandits in the first part of the mission, as a fuel leak anywhere further than a couple of miles off the boarder would've left me stranded behind enemy lines. It's also close enough, that I call in a helicopter rescue mission to see if that rookie at least knew to strap on a parachute, and found the cord to pull on.

I then initiate standard fuel leak procedures, climb high and prepare for glide slope. Still having quite a bit of fuel left in the tank, but seeing it drip away as if it were sand in an hourglass, I estimate half a minute of thrust remaining. I enjoy the full AB while it lasts, and prepare a solitaire on my iDevice while gliding back home.

It helps me stick away the fact that a pilot was lost, and possibly innocent lives at that dam - Collateral Damage. What good is electricity generated by that dam, if people are starving?! One country cannot accept the surplus food from western society, their own farmers then wouldn't be able to survive without external help. They would become dependent, and would get crippled whenever there was a disagreement. However destroying this dam cannot have been the only solution...

I'm a pawn in this game, I realize. I contemplate my actions over another round of solitaire, I know it can't be healthy to bottle up everything, and I know it can't be healthy to blindly trust everything that is said.

I remind myself, I'm doing this for the opportunity to fly this marvelous beastly F-22 Raptor. It's such a frightening name, and in capable hands like mine, a deadly force. What if at one point I'm tasked to take out a residential area? Maybe at some point in my life, I will have to make a choice, either taking out a target, or refuse to do so. But if there's one thing I've learned in my entire career, it's that there's always a second strike package being launched, even before the first one hits.

What is of higher priority is never decided by the pawns...

Great write-up, Eagle Flight.

Interesting that you brought up the moral question, because the original single player mission is a rogue black op designed to place the blame of an atrocity on another nation.

As far as bagging the dam goes, thanks for the 4+2 data point. Twice running the original mission (with 2xMk83), both lead and wingman dropping all 4 Mk83s wouldn't crack the dam. However, dropping 4 Mk83s from one aircraft in a single salvo provided enough power to break the dam when I tested the misssion. Bottom line, it's important that both aircraft survive the engagement with the MiGs over the target!
Nice AAR. :thumbsup:
Too fast for old guys but it was a great read!!

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